DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. — Patrick Smithcaught a 7-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Ronald Butler with 5:48 remaining, lifting Tennessee State to a 31-24 win over Bethune-Cookman on Saturday.
Jamaruz Thompkins tied the game for Bethune-Cookman (0-2) on a 20-yard run earlier in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats forced a three-and-out to get the ball back, but fellow backup Anthony Cruz was intercepted by Terrell Bonds to set up the game-winning score.
Bonds picked off Akevious Williams on the ensuing drive, giving the ball back to the Tigers (3-0) on their 45-yard line with 3:50 to play and a seven-point lead.
Butler finished 8 of 16 for 68 yards with two touchdowns and an interception after replacing O’Shay Ackerman-Carterin the second quarter. Earl Harrisoncarried the ball 14 times for the Tigers, totaling 154 yards and a score.
Thompkins finished with 58 yards on six carries.